The January Man
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OscarÂ(r) winners* Kevin Kline and Susan Sarandon team with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Danny Aiello, Rod Steiger and Alan Rickman for this intense thriller about a serial killer on the loose in Manhattan. Directed by Pat O'Connor (Sweet November, Inventing the Abbotts) and written by Academy AwardÂ(r) winner** John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck), The January Man is an edge-of-your-seat suspense ride that'll prey on your thoughts as well as your fears. Ex-cop Nick Starkey (Kline) is the only man in New York brilliant enough to find a viciousserial killer. But returning to his job is as complicated an undertaking as nabbing the culprit. Forced to work alongside the brother (Keitel) who fired him, Nick also has to come to terms with the ex-girlfriend (Sarandon) who married his brother, and the mayor's young daughter (Mastrantonio) who'sfallen in love with him. But with time running out and everyone counting on him, Nick sets aside his personal turmoil to root out the killer until that, too, involves a personal stake he'll never be able to accept losing. *Kline: Supporting Actor, A Fish Called Wanda (1988); Sarandon: Actress, Dead Man Walking (1995) **1987: Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
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The movie uses clichés with a twist: a heroic but difficult cop (Kline) who has been unjustly sacked and is now a fireman, but - being a genius in his work - gets called back to solve mysterious killings. Of course, the police department is against the idea. But there is no choice and he starts to work in his own terms, for instance bringing along an assistant, a moody artist (Rickman in a part where he speaks very little, which is always a shame). Brother (Keitel) isn't too thrilled either, because they still love the same woman (Sarandon). Mayor's daughter (Mastrantonio) gets sucked in, because her friend is murdered.
The movie has all the elements of comedy, humour, suspense and good actors and actresses - and still it misses something. Kline is fine as always and even in this small part Rickman makes an impression and it's hard to point out any flaws - but still it doesn't work as well as it could have.
Anyway, the movie is entertaining, not bad at all. Harmless fun with a couple of original jokes. Kline's cooking is very odd and Rickman's use of models even more personal.
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